Globalization and the International Political Economy Essay

3605 Words Feb 12th, 2011 15 Pages
Realism, Liberalism, Marxism

and the Phenomenon of Global Integration

Introduction

Various theories and perspectives have been proposed by theorists and international relations observers in explaining International Political Economy (IPE). The most salient among these perspectives are Realism, Liberalism, and Marxism. These paradigms or ways of looking at IPE enables international relations students to study the forces at work in the international realm and analyze how these factors interact to create the state of affairs of the IPE. Through these perspectives, people can also take a look at how human nature, individuals, society, states, and markets relate to the economy and how they make it work.

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Each state in the international is motivated by national interest. As such, they are rational actors that are seeking to maximize their interest. Given this, they will only cooperate or ally with others if they perceive that the national interest is at stake. But on the whole, they are distrustful of such alliances. In being “rational actors”, states are always looking out for their national security and gather resources and economic power. Another important factor in the relationships of states is the level of their power as evidenced by military capabilities and level of economic progress. Lastly, there are really no universal and overarching principles that states can use in order to govern their actions. The only motivation that they may have is a pragmatic approach to international affairs (Doyle 60).

Realism has stood a lot of challenges, especially with the advent of globalization and the emergence of groupings of states such as the European Union. With the trends of global integration, Realist theorists are looking for ways to reinterpret their assumptions and their findings so as to become meaningful in a world that has become enamored with integration and cooperation. The view of realism on global integration will be explored further in a latter section of this paper.

Liberalism

Liberalism is currently the most influential theory in the field of international political economy. It…